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Snoworks blog: weeks 3 and 4

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One down, two to go!

Having spent the last two weeks in Tignes, it was time for the Snoworks GAP team to take our BASI Level 1 in Zermatt, the first step on the ladder to becoming a ski instructor. 

This entailed the group comically trudging through Geneva train station with an excessive amount of suitcases, boot bags and ski bags. After a scenic journey we were presented with our first view of the famous Matterhorn that towers over this beautiful Swiss mountain village.  We could not have asked for better weather this week; not a cloud in the sky and awesome snow conditions for mastering our first BASI qualification. Throughout, we recognised the deep-seated habits that each of us has subconsciously picked up over years of skiing and which inevitably needed to be ironed out, whether this be relating topoles flying around wildly or simple posture and stance issues.  A great finish to a varied week of short skidded turns, central theme and long, carved turns was meeting Keith Lemon who warmly congratulated us on passing our Level 1!

However, I cannot deny that coming back to Tignes was like returning to the comfort of our home as we were warmly greeted by the usual exquisite choice of cake for afternoon tea and our fellow Snoworks gappies who had previously completed their Level 1.   The contrast of the two weeks has been remarkable, with the latter being heavily focussed on giant slalom race training.  Always surrounded by other courses on either side, there was the continual fear of knowing that if any one of us caught an edge then we could easily go careering at a very high speed into someone else’s path, and it is likely that this would not have ended well.The week ended with a second race for everyone involved in Snoworks Pro and GAP courses, this time slightly more challenging due to the terrain but still great practice, with the aim for each of us to conquer Ted Ligety inspired turns. Contrasting with these reasonably intense sessions, one afternoon we all tried doing an assortment of tricks; most prominently flipping one ski up and attempting to catch it, the “worm” and skiing solely on one ski which I found out went disastrously wrong if you tried to put your boot in the snow whilst moving!  At the end of another fantastic two weeks in the snow, I am hoping that these classic wipe-outs will all be erased by the time we take our BASI Level 2.

Jenny Beard is currently attending a Snoworks GAP ski instructor course in the French ski resort of Tignes. Snoworks run GAP ski programs that qualify people as ski instructors before the winter season starts and then help them to find employment throughout the ski season. Jenny will be attending university from September 2013.

Read her first blog post here.

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